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‘Tis the season to be…fall-y?

Fall is finally here!  The weather in Tennessee turned on a dime, we went from not being able to sleep without air conditioning on to Brian complaining how cold it is with the windows open.  Someone doesn’t like to wear toe socks and hoodies as much as I do, apparently.

Things that I love about fall:

  • t.v. starts back up!  Brian bought this program, PlayOn, that lets us watch hulu through our Xbox, which makes our decision to not have cable anymore even easier.  The only stuff I have to watch on my computer are trashy VH1 shows and CW shows (Gossip Girl and Supernatural), and that just means I have to watch them all snuggly in bed.  Oh noes.  P.S.  Glee is the greatest thing to happen to t.v. in a long time and I really hope you’re watching it.
  • Hoodies and colorful knee socks.
  • Bubble baths!
  • Warming the house via the oven = more cookies for me.
  • Hopefully my CSA will quit loading me down with fucking lettuce and hook me up with some sweet potatoes or regular potatoes.
  • Pumpkin EVERYTHING.
  • Watching as many horror movies as I can stomach.
  • My birthday and Halloween in the same week, although at this point in my life I care more about Halloween.
  • Brian is my own personal space heater at night.

Also, VeganMoFo starts in…1.5 hours!  I made a joke banner that no one find funny but me because most people either haven’t seen Halloween III or have blocked it from their memories, but if you’re the exception to that rule feel free to use it:

Bonus points if you can find Bonny in that photo!

posted: September 30, 2009
under: life, lists, pictures

Vegans Things I’ve Bought That I Love: Environmental Hippie Edition.

First off, i’d like to plug Josh Hooter’s Bike Ride For the Animals.  In case you hadn’t heard of it yet.  He’s going to ride 600 miles, on his bike, to raise money and awareness for Farm Sanctuary.  Even if you can only give ten dollars, do it.  No excuses.  I know the economy sucks, but pretty much everyone can spare ten dollars.  And then you’ll have better karma and i’ll like you better.

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This was fun to put together the first time, so I thought i’d do it again with a spin.

A lot of people think that caring about the environment means being a hippie, or a lot of work, or both.  You don’t have to buy a hybrid car and install solar panels on your house to make the world a slightly better place.  You don’t have to let your yellow mellow in the toilet to show you care.  There are a ton of small steps you could take that are easy, and I really do believe that doing a lot of little things is the road to you know, not totally killing our earth.  So let’s get started!

Reuseable bags. You would think this is a no brainer these days, because every grocery store (even Walmart!  Walmart, people!) now has their own brand of reuseable bags right next to the checkout lanes.  They’re usually right around a buck.  Yet I go to the commissary and I see people hauling out 50 plastic bags, and the chances that they’re going to go home and recycle them are slim.  Reuseable bags just aren’t better for the earth, but they’re easier to carry because their handles and bottoms don’t rip or fall out from heavy stuff.  And while they’re not totally indestructible, if one does rip it was only a dollar so it’s not a big loss.  I’ve only lost one bag in the past year or so that i’ve been using them.

And along the same thing, say no to bags for things you don’t need!  You don’t need a bag for one drink.  Or one dvd.  If you can carry it in your hands, you don’t need a bag to carry something from the register to your car to your house.  And while most of the grocery store bags have an insert at the bottom that makes them impossible to fold up and keep in your purse for bag emergencies, there are tons of compact bags that fold up and come with a little pouch to keep them in.  I use mine for spur-of-the-moment grocery trips and Target, it’s huge and will hold 25 pounds of stuff.

Also, a lot of people forget that plastic produce and bulk bags are a problem too.  Now truth be told, I forget mine most of the time so I just end up only bagging things that are wet.  You don’t need a bag for one pepper that you’re probably going to wash anyway.  And bananas?  Do you eat the damn peel?  I don’t think so.  But if your memory is better than mine, I get my produce and bulk bags from here.  And of course she would be out of the country for this entire month.

(P.S.  If you are going to keep being a dick and using plastic bags, at least recycle them.)

Menstrual products (males may want to skip this section because i’m going to talk about my vagina).  Every year.  12 billion pads.  7 billion tampons.  In our trash.  That is a lot of bloody trash!  One could argue that tampons are okay because they’re cotton and not plastic, but tampons are bad for your health too.  And your pocket book!  Tampons are worse than cigarettes as far as price gouging goes.  Because they know that the average american woman isn’t aware that she has more than two options as to what she puts up her duff.

The first is a reuseable cup.  I use a Diva Cup, but they’re not the only brand.  If your immediate reaction is ‘ew’ to the idea of emptying your blood into the toilet, I invite you to grow up.  Most bathrooms come equipped with a sink and you’ll be washing your hands in a minute anyway.  Also, I don’t normally get any more blood on me than I do when dealing with tampons.  What I do get are less cramps and that god awful dryness near the end.  The Diva Cup site says to replace it every year, but I can’t see why that’s necessary.  I boil it every now and then to clean it and that’s it.  So instead of spending $10-15 a month, I spent $30 on something that’s going to last me until one of the dogs uses it as a chew toy or I have a kid and have to get the bigger one.

The other option, for ladies who don’t like sticking things anywhere, are reuseable pads.  It’s pretty simple, you use them and then rinse them and toss them in your hamper until laundry day.  Once again, if you can’t handle your own body fluids you need to grow up.  I’m pretty sure everyone who reads this wipes their own poop on the daily.  Most people who make pads make them with fun fabrics, so they’re not a chore to buy.  My friend Erika made the ones on the left, as you can see she sells sets that have a liner with wings, and then two pads that slip into the back of the liner if you need them.  You can buy some from her here.

Also, cotton pads are obviously along the same line as cloth diapers, but since i’ve never spawned and don’t have any experience with them or where to buy them, i’ll leave that up to someone who has.

Bath products without bottles.  I’ve become something of a Lush junkie (that’s our stash to the right).  And since i’ve been noticing how much plastic we buy just because that’s what things come in, I decided to give their bar shampoos and conditioner a try.  I bought one of the shampoos for Brian while he was in Iraq, but he never got around to using it.  Now he’s in love with it.  And i’m in love with my shampoo and face soap, but not the conditioner.  I know it says best seller, but it’s probably because it’s the only solid conditioner they have.  It might be okay if you have short hair, but I have to microwave it just a little to soften it (not for more than ten seconds or it’ll melt), then smush the soft pieces in my hands and lather them with water like crazy.  It takes way too long, so I am going back to bottled conditioner when i’ve used that up.  But still, i’ve traded in three products with bars so i’ll still be doing a little bit better than I was before.

Litter.  No, not the thing where assholes throw their trash out the window (serious pet peeve).  The kind that your cats use.  Most people don’t think about litter as being something bad, but most commercial litter is made out of clay that doesn’t biodegrade.  I’ve tried litter made from recycled paper, but I wasn’t thrilled with it.  I settled on this wheat litter.  Not only can you pitch this stuff (I use those doggie poop bags made from corn) without worry, you can compost the leftovers after it’s been scooped, if it’s time to change it out for all fresh litter.  You can even flush the clumps and poop if you keep your box in the bathroom.  And it smells better.  I don’t mean after someone’s pooped, it still smells like poop obviously.  But it doesn’t have that gross, chemical smell to it.  So as long as the litter is clean, my house smells like house and not litter.

Downgrade your TP.  Yep, our desire to wipe our butts with cotton clouds is the downfall of the planet.  I found recycled toilet paper randomly, and while at first i was annoyed at how thin it was, I got over it pretty quick.  And my husband doesn’t complain so it really can’t matter that much.

Go digital with your music purchases. This one is pretty simple.  You spend less money, there’s less plastic in the world, and less junk in your house.  Also, in my case, it makes me feel less bad about my giant dvd collection.

Go veg*n.  Did you not think I was going to throw that in there somewhere?  Please.  And I don’t wanna hear about it being too hard or you love cheese too much.  Right now i’m surviving without meat, eggs, dairy, gluten, or refined sugars and holy shit, i’m not dead!

If you’re going to be a dick and say “Veg*nism isn’t something you bought!”  Well, I buy food and clothing all the time, and I buy vegan things, so in your FACE.

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I swear, when I started this list I had no idea that most of the things on it would revolve around things that come out of our bodies.

posted: March 1, 2009
under: lists, products

Vegan Things I Bought That I Love

So Mindy Kaling (Kelly from The Office [my favorite character]), writes this blog called Things I Bought That I Love.  And while I find it entertaining, I don’t actually get much out of it because a) she has more money than I do and b) I am not into shoes or makeup or things like that.  I have bad ankles and can’t take a single step in any heel, so the allure of cute shoes does nothing for me.  I can’t put on eyeliner without looking like a mall goth reject, so there’s that.  And I hate clothes shopping because I know cheap clothes are usually cheap for a reason, and I am a cheap person.  I get all of my jeans at Goodwill because i’d rather pay $5 for someone’s cast off American Eagle jeans than $15 for a crappy new pair from Walmart.

So with that, I present to you, Vegan Things I Bought That I Love.

First up, is the newest hoodie from Herbivore.  I usually don’t like zip-up hoodies because I can’t fiddle with my hands in the middle of the pocket, but I was drawn in by the promises of fleecy warmness.  That’s kind of important when you don’t own a real coat.  It doesn’t usually get too cold in Tennessee, but when it does this hoodie keeps me nice and warm.  I also like it because it doesn’t have a totally in-your-face message on it that would get me heckled around here(I am a sissy).

I have a lot of vegan cookbooks.  Probably 20, plus some zines.  I have read all of them, but a lot of them have been used once or not at all because, as i’ve mentioned I suck at following recipes and planning ahead, and because sometimes the ingredients list is so long it makes my head spin.  One of the few cookbooks I have that gets regular use (mostly from memory at this point), is Yellow Rose Recipes.  The recipes are pretty simple and straight forward without giving me that, ‘I don’t need a recipe for a freaking bean burrito’ feeling.  I loved it so much that I got my tester copy, and then bought two for friends and family.  I am getting hungnry looking at the cover so i’m going to scroll down to the next thing.

Last week, I needed some soy curls and stuff so I put in an order at Cosmo’s Vegan Shoppe in Atlanta.  I love Food Fight as much as anyone, but if you’re living in the southern part of the country, Cosmo’s will hook you up in 2-3 days.  I saw that they had these cheap little chocolates, so I decided to order one of each and give them a try.  Imagine my happy surprise when I found that little baggie to the left in my box with extra chocolates AND a stick of lip balm that tastes like the inside of a hazelnut cream.  (Am I the only one who almost always types out ‘lip blam’ by mistake?)  Anyway, the chocolates were pretty delicious, and they’re only .30 cents a piece (less if you buy in bulk), so they’d be good to give out at weddings or Easter or any other holiday where you might give people candy.  The only one I wasn’t crazy about was the ginger, and I can’t even say why, it just didn’t do it for me.  Next time I need to stock up on soy curls (so like, next week) i’ll be getting a few more of the caramel and mint ones for sure.

And speaking of soy curls, have you tried them?  They’re pretty excellent, and about as un-processed as you can get.  They’re kind of like TVP in that you soak them in water and flavor them, but they’re in strips and in the end, taste way better.  You can get them at Cosmo’s and Food Fight!

The rest of this stuff isn’t for or by vegans per se, but still stuff that I love.

Bitch Baraometers!  Your friends and family will thank you when you give them proper warning about what they’re getting into.  Plus, they might come bearing chocolates just to make sure you don’t rip their damn heads off.  These are one-of-a-kind and she only has a few left!  (Mine is flipped to the flaming uterus right now, if you care to know.)

Cakespy cupcake paintings!  I have six of the mini paintings, and I was lucky enough to snag the original of the ‘Yes We Cake’ painting.  I like them because even though they’re small, they’re affordable original art that brightens up my home.  Plus, Jessie is awesome about commisions, I asked her to do a painting for a friends wedding and named the price I had in mind, and she asked me lots of questions and showed me sketches to make sure everything was perfect before going ahead with the ink and color.  Some of them are very simple, like Cuppie drinking a soda, and some of them are pretty detailed like the one on the right that I wish was mine, but it’s not.  She occasionally does vegan baking paintings as well.

Technically I didn’t buy this, but my mother-in-law got me an Aerogarden for Christmas and it is so.  Fucking.  Awesome.  My little herbs are only 2.5 weeks old, but they’re growing pretty fast.  I swear one night, the basil doubled in height.  The one she got me has three spots to grow stuff, so it’s more affordable than the big ones they show on the infomericals.  And the grow light doubles as a good light for food porn!  The batch of herbs going now should last me until summer, and I think I might get a second bigger one in the fall so I can grow tomatoes all winter!  The only downside is that the light is really bright, and it cycles on automatically so I have to close the bedroom door most of the way to be able to sleep since it’s on the dining table.  Curse you, open floor plan.

And finally:

Best $20 I ever spent!  Chester had his honorary birthday a few weeks ago, he’s now eight.  He is one of the happiest, smartest dogs I have ever met.  If he’s not smiling, he’s probably asleep.

P.S.  Bonny is not on this list because I got her for free because she was defective!

posted: January 16, 2009
under: animals, art, lists, pictures, products

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